We have been very busy this last week preparing to exhibit at the Veuve Cliquot Gold Cup Polo Final at Cowdray Park.

The weather, as we all know, has been awful for weeks.  The whole area, not just the pitch but also the hospitality areas and shopping village, was grass so the organisers wanted to keep it in as good a condition as possible.

Veuve Cliquot Gold Cup Polo Final


At the last minute they told us that no vehicles were allowed anywhere near the exhibitor stands to unload.  It’s at times like these that I wish I was collecting and showing dried flowers which are a great deal lighter than fossils and minerals!  We had to carry everything from the car park to the stand, all in our wellies of course.


After our last exhibition, however, we had decided to make a video of some of the larger and heavier, and indeed more fragile, pieces of stock.  Fortunately this was ready in time and we were able to screen this at the event – what a boon!

Video Display

It is always a delight to meet such a variety of people who come to view and chat, and, of course, buy.  There were even a couple of former oil industry geologists.  They, naturally, appreciated the range and quality of the stock.  It is hard for people who have not had such hands-on geological experience to understand the importance of these things.

This, though, just gives me greater impetus for school visits, where I take some of the more notable items from my collection in to show the children.  Here they can handle the fossils and minerals which are so tactile.  Children have not lost their natural, innocent, wonder for these amazing and beautiful items.

Hadrosaurus Eggs in Nest


Neither have the geologists, indeed, we have a lot to thank the oil industry for when it comes to fossils, for it is they who have helped drive the science forward, needing, as they do, to accurately date the rock strata in order to optimise their search for oil.  We were also entertained with reminiscences of exploration, such as in Oman and Yemen which included finding geodes, fossils and petrified wood just lying around in the desert.  We even learnt about the fabled lost city of Ubar in the Empty Quarter.

Shisr (Ubar) by  Tarawneh

Towards the end of the day we were treated to the most amazing aerial display by the Blades Aerobatic Team (do follow the link in the photograph below in particular their video is really worth watching),  We thought it was wonderful.


© Copyright Charlotte M Bailey 2012

The Blades Aerobatic Display Team